5 Apps Android and iPhone Photographers Must Have

The technology inside our little smartphone cameras is so advanced these days that it's made point-and-shoot cameras all but obsolete. Modern smartphone cameras function well all on their own, but if you like to tinker with your shots or use a few apps together to create digital art, you need a good stable of photography apps in your mobile darkroom. Up until recently, the best choices were limited to the offerings in Apple's app store, in part because Android hardware was not as well developed. All that's changed, however, and now, Androids have both hardware and an enormous selection of apps that, in many cases, outscore their iPhone counterparts. Here are five apps originally developed for the iPhone that now work their magic for Android photography as well.

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Adobe Lightroom 2.0 for Android

Lightroom for Android

Lightroom 

What We Like

  • Integration with Adobe suite of software.

  • Available for both desktop and mobile devices.

  • Simple to use interface.

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive compared to others.

  • Interface on a smartphone screen cramped with tools.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (free; offers in-app purchases)

Adobe is the longtime leader in desktop photo and video editing apps. Lightroom for Android offers RAW support and nondestructive editing via its cloud and desktop applications. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud account, you can edit on both your mobile device and desktop computer.

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Snapseed

Snapseed for Android

Snapseed

Snapseed (free)

What We Like

  • A wide selection of useful photo editing and enhancing tools.

  • Interface is very simple to use.

What We Don't Like

  • Does not autosave work.

  • Interface can take some time to learn.

Snapseed is a Google app but was an iOS app before that. Since its release, it's been a favorite app of mobile photogs. The first app for Android to support RAW photo editing, Snapseed offers exceptional basic editing capabilities and a "tune image" function. Its use of sliders and one-touch enhancement tools makes this app one of the easiest to use. There are no in-app purchases or "premium" upgrades, making it a hassle-free, fully capable bargain.

03
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SKWRT

SKWRT for Android
SKWRT

What We Like

  • Easy to fix image distortions.

  • Features a range of tools for fixing images, including key, skew, and barrel distortion correction.

What We Don't Like

  • Some features require additional in-app purchases.

  • MRRW and 4PNTS tools require additional fee each to save corrected images in full resolution.

Android ($1.49)

iOS ($1.99)

This app bills itself as "the missing link in high-end smartphone photography." If you need an app that can remove the distortion that a smartphone camera lenses introduces in an image — a problem that's most evident in architectural and symmetrical images — then SKRWT is for you. A simple swipe corrects vertical and horizontal distortion with the least possible cropping.

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VSCO

VSCO Cam for Android

 VSCO Cam

What We Like

  • Many filters available.

  • Interface is minimal and simple to use.

  • Social media sharing.

What We Don't Like

  • Popular filters are now paid-only.

  • Missing some useful tools, such as spot heal and tone curve.

Android (free; offers in-app purchases)

iOS (free; offers in-app purchases)

Originally a film-emulsion emulator add-on for the desktop versions of Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, VSCO Cam has quickly become a crowd favorite. A strong community of photographers back this easy-to-use app and share their best work on the platform. Flexibility and a wealth of filters help shooters add creative pop to their images.

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Afterlight for Android

Afterlight for Android

 Afterlight

What We Like

  • Wealth of filters and effects.

  • Social media sharing.

What We Don't Like

  • No text tool.

  • Android version can lag behind iOS version in quality and updates.

AfterLight (free; offers in-app purchases)

Speaking of filters, Afterlight offers what might be the biggest selection of filters in our choices here — nearly 60 in total. Additionally, the AfterLight community offers still more. Multiple ​textures per filter give you endless options.